Are you living out Religion or the Gospel?

RELIGION:?? I obey-therefore I???m accepted.

THE GOSPEL:?? I???m accepted-therefore I obey.-RELIGION:?? Motivation is based on fear and insecurity.

THE GOSPEL:?? Motivation is based on grateful joy.-RELIGION: I obey God in order to get things from God.

THE GOSPEL:?? I obey God to get to God-to delight and resemble Him.-RELIGION:?? When circumstances in my life go wrong, I am angry at God or my self, since I believe, like Job???s friends that anyone who is good deserves a comfortable life.

THE GOSPEL:?? When circumstances in my life go wrong, I struggle but I know all my punishment fell on Jesus and that while he may allow this for my training, he will exercise his Fatherly love within my trial.-RELIGION:?? When I am criticized I am furious or devastated because it is critical that I think of myself as a ???good person???.?? Threats to that self-image must be destroyed at all costs.

THE GOSPEL:?? When I am criticized I struggle, but it is not critical for me to think of myself as a ???good person.????? My identity is not built on my record or my performance but on God???s love for me in Christ.?? I can take criticism.-RELIGION:?? My prayer life consists largely of petition and it only heats up when I am in a time of need.?? My main purpose in prayer is control of the environment.

THE GOSPEL:?? My prayer life consists of generous stretches of praise and adoration.?? My main purpose is fellowship with Him.-RELIGION:?? My self-view swings between two poles.?? If and when I am living up to my standards, I feel confident, but then I am prone to be proud and unsympathetic to failing people.?? If and when I am not living up to standards, I feel insecure and inadequate.?? I???m not confident.?? I feel like a failure.

THE GOSPEL:?? My self-view is not based on a view of my self as a moral achiever.?? In Christ I am ???simul iustus et peccator??????simultaneously sinful and yet accepted in Christ.?? I am so bad he had to die for me and I am so loved he was glad to die for me. This leads me to deeper and deeper humility and confidence at the same time.?? Neither swaggering nor sniveling.-RELIGION:?? My identity and self-worth are based mainly on how hard I work.?? Or how moral I am, and so I must look down on those I perceive as lazy or immoral.?? I disdain and feel superior to ???the other.???

THE GOSPEL:?? My identity and self-worth are centered on the one who died for His enemies, who was excluded from the city for me.?? I am saved by sheer grace.?? So I can???t look down on those who believe or practice something different from me.?? Only by grace I am what I am.?? I???ve no inner need to win arguments.-RELIGION:?? Since I look to my own pedigree or performance for my spiritual acceptability, my heart manufactures idols.?? It may be my talents, my moral record, my personal discipline, my social status, etc.?? I absolutely have to have them so they serve as my main hope, meaning, happiness, security, and significance, whatever I may say I believe about God.

THE GOSPEL:?? I have many good things in my life???family, work, spiritual disciplines, etc.?? But none of these good things are ultimate things to me.?? None of them are things I absolutely have to have, so there is a limit to how much anxiety, bitterness, and despondency they can inflict on me when they are threatened and lost.

Adapted from sermons by Tim Keller.?? HT: Tullian Tchividjian.

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